Step 9: Form the Pleats
Printable Worksheet
Printable Worksheet

On a pencil pleat heading this stage is very simple. You just gather the heading by pulling the cords.

  • From the outside edge of the curtain pull the cords so the heading starts to gather. Keep pulling until the top of the curtain is the FINISHED CURTAIN WIDTH.
  • Tie the pulled cord with a slip knot to stop it slipping back into the heading tape.
  • Insert curtain hooks aprroximately every 10cm along the heading tape with one at each end.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate number of rings on the track or pole.
This video shows you
  • How to pull the pencil pleat heading tape
  • How to form and space your pencil pleats
  • Which hook type to use
  • Where to attach your hooks

Questions & Comments


What do you class as the outside edge of the curtain when drawing up the header tape? Is this the side that is nearest the wall?


Yes the outside edge is the side that doesn't meet in the middle.



I bag style make my curtains (just how I was taught). I've noticed that if I hem my linings first that sometimes they are abit short by the time I've sewn the sides from the top even though the measurements were correct to start with!! Is this just because fabric moves or maybe I need a walking foot!!

Also, I'm making a pair of curtains that have 3 widths in each!! Yes, I'm abit nervous! Any advice when it comes to gathering the header tape as I find it makes my hand & arm hurt after a while on just a double width curtain, let alone triple!

Many Thanks



A walking foot will help, but that is one reason why we make them the way we do in this tutorial, hand stitching the side turns.

Not sure about aching arms and hands, the way we gather the heading is in the videos.

Nana Robo

HI there

I have noticed that my hooks are pulling the threads in my heading. I have hooks every 3 loops as they are heavy curtains. Is there anything that I can do about it please.

Thank you


Thats not a problem we have had they must be either

   1.   Curtains too heavy for the number of hooks you are using. or

   2.   Maybe the heading tape isn't very good quality.

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